The President of CIU has Dinner with the Vice President – of the United States
By Bob Holmes
It’s not the kind of phone call you get every day.
Columbia International University President Dr. Mark Smith was sitting in his office one day in early January when the phone rang. It was the Office of the Vice President of the United States.
“Needless to say, I was quite surprised,” Smith said.
The phone call was an invitation for Smith and his wife Debbie to attend the inaugural “Faith Leaders Dinner” hosted by Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen at their home in Washington, D.C. The Smiths were joined by five other faith leaders from across America and updated on faith and traditional family issues which the Smiths have actively supported.
Dr. Smith, a former resident of Indiana, has been acquainted with the vice president for over 10 years having spent time with him when Pence represented east-central Indiana in the U.S. House of Representatives and then as governor of Indiana.
“I have found the vice president to be a man of deep faith who will give all to fight for traditional family values,” Smith said. “At the same time he is the kindest and most sincere listener I have met. He makes you feel like you have his full attention.”
Smith says that during the two-hour dinner, Pence provided an overview of his commitment to family and faith issues, and shared what it is like to be vice president for a day.
“He and Karen shared about their faith journey and deep commitment to their own family and thanked us as leaders for our involvement in faith and family issues,” Smith said. “He also shared about his deep commitment to Israel which is a passionate issue for many evangelical leaders.”
Pence joined the Smiths and three other couples at their table for about 30 minutes of the dinner.
“The evening was one of the greatest highlights of my life,” Smith said.
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